This is the audio from the September 18, 2022 sermon, “Loving the Overlooked!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Luke 19:1-10
As I begin a new sermon series which will look at various gospel stories of Jesus loving people, we look at a trait that is common in most of the Bible characters we will look at during this series — the difficulty of being overlooked. Because understanding how to love the overlooked is foundational to loving like Jesus, I decided to use an old-school outline of the three “R’s”.
- A Loving Realization. Luke 19:1-4
- When this encounter with Zacchaeus takes place, Jesus is simply passing through. We begin to love the overlooked when we begin to realize they exist all around us, and perhaps even are us, as we journey through life. Jesus realized that people were seeking Him and some, like Zacchaeus, were having great difficulty. We love the overlooked when we become more like Jesus and look to where they are rather than being like the crowd whose very presence made it impossible for Jesus to be seen. We live with a loving realization when we see everyone we encounter as a person who Jesus would notice.
- A Loving Request. Luke 19:5-7
- I always find it interesting that Jesus invited Himself to the home of Zacchaeus. While I suspect it would be rather strange, and perhaps not very appropriate, to invite ourselves to have dinner in the homes of strangers, we can make a loving request to enter their life in ways that would be helpful. When we ask a person how we can pray for them, we invite ourselves into their life as a representative of Jesus. When we invite conversation and are willing to listen, we make a loving request that can help people see Jesus in us. We live with a loving request when we ask God and the people we encounter how we can help them see Jesus more clearly.
- A Loving Result. Luke 19:8-10
- I suspect the easy thing to do is to consider the giving of half his wealth and the promise to repay four times over anyone he had cheated to be the loving result of this encounter Zacchaeus had with Jesus. I don’t think that is the real result, rather that is part of the fruit of the real result. The loving result of being loved by Jesus is found in the statement of Jesus that salvation had come to the house today! When we are willing to humble our self and let go of every selfish and ulterior motive, we find God’s desire is still to seek and save the lost. We live with a loving result when we carry a message of salvation to all, and especially to those who are overlooked.
Today, how will you love those who are overlooked?